Thursday, July 23, 2009

Yet another Ridgerest hacked in the name lightweight backpacking

I'm slowly converting to Ray Jardine's philosophies - again.

The evening, I chopped up yet another Ridgerest closed-cell foam pad into a torso-shaped pad. This version weighed in at 103 grams - 3.63 ounces. The dimensions are similar to's Torsolite, which a) will be back in stock soon; and b) has been selling like hotcakes recently on BPL's gear trade forum.

This is my second attempt at hacking down a CCF pad into a torso-shaped bundle. My first attempt still exists - it is rectangular at 29.5x19.5 and about ~5.4 oz. When I saw that BPL was going to get more TorsoLites in stock, I through about the unused pad on my sides, especially flanking by buttocks. So I hacked this one down and lost almost 2 oz.

It's going out for its first test this weekend, somewhere in Minnesota that lacks mosquitoes. When I return, I imagine I'll cut a concave curve into the sides near my true waist to chop out even more unused pad. Until then, the pad will stay nicely above 100 grams.

As a final note, the only company that sells torso-length pads is GossamerGear. Unmodified, these pads weigh in at 3.5-3.8 oz, and are also rectangular. Not too shabby.


Matt Mahaney said...

I love my Gossamer Gear NightLight™ Sleeping Pad. I had not thought of tapering it until now. How many torso sized pads can you cut from one Ridgerest?

Matt Lutz said...

My pad is 29.5 inches long. A standard length Ridgerest is 72 inches, so you can get two torso pads out of a single pad.

I got the tapering idea from viewing's latest iteration of its Torsolite, an inflatable foam sleeping pad that is 17x12x32.

Foam-By-Mail said...

Terrific modifications! This is one of the biggest benefits to using a foam camping pad - you get more leeway in modifying and tailoring it to your own personal style than you would on more involved pads, like air-filled cushions.